My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodacolor Film Simulation Recipe

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Summit Merc – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

This is the film simulation recipe that you’ve been waiting for! Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but if you like my Kodachrome II or Portra 400 recipes, which are both very popular, you’ll likely also appreciate this one. It’s in the same neighborhood as those, producing a classic Kodak analog aesthetic. I think many of you will like this film simulation recipe.

Last week I was contacted by a Fuji X Weekly reader who wanted help creating an in-camera look that was similar to the pictures from this other photographer. It didn’t take me long to realize that the photographer in question was using a digital camera (Nikon D750) and applying a plugin preset (most likely VSCO) to achieve the desired look. If I had to take a guess, I would say that the preset is supposed to resemble Kodak Portra 400, although probably one of the alternative versions and not the straight Portra 400 preset. Anytime that I get one of these requests I always make an attempt to create it, although oftentimes my efforts are not successful and no recipe is made. This time, my first stab at it was pretty close, and a little refining made it even closer. I was able to quickly create a film simulation recipe that produces similar results in-camera to what that other photographer is getting with software.

The reason that I named this recipe Kodacolor and not Portra is that, to me, it looks more like Kodacolor VR than Portra, although the aesthetics of these two films are quite similar. Portra is the better film with improved grain, more tolerance to under and over exposure, and slightly more accurate skin tones, but overall the films produce very similar looks. Kodak originally developed Kodacolor VR film in the early 1980’s for their Disc cameras, which used a film cartridge resembling a computer floppy disc (or the “save icon”), allowing the camera to be small and easy to use. It made tiny exposures on the disc of film, and the film prior to Kodacolor VR, which was called Kodacolor II, was too grainy and not sharp enough for the small exposure to produce good results. Kodak’s solution was to create a sharper film with finer grain, which they originally named Kodacolor HR, and quickly renamed Kodacolor VR after making a small improvement. Kodacolor VR was available in ISO 100, 200, 400 and 1000 film speeds. This film simulation recipe most closely resembles Kodacolor VR 200, in my opinion. Kodacolor VR was replaced by Kodacolor VR-G in the mid 1980’s, which was later renamed Kodak Gold. Kodacolor VR was technically discontinued in 1986, but the ISO 200 version was renamed Kodacolor 200 and later ColorPlus 200, which is surprisingly still available today.

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Kodak Flying Disc – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

One characteristic of Kodacolor VR is that it’s not particularly tolerant to underexposure (for color negative film), so a common technique was to overexpose the film (to prevent accidental underexposure). The side-effect of this, which is a common side-effect of most Kodak color negative films, but it’s especially pronounced on this particular film, is cyan sky. Blues tend to become an unnatural lighter color. That’s what this film simulation recipe looks like: Kodacolor VR 200 that’s been overexposed. It’s also a close proximity to Portra 400 that’s been overexposed, although it’s not quite as strong of a match for that as Kodacolor VR.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +2
Color: -2
Sharpening: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: 6300K, -1 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to + 1-1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Kodacolor film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Echo Canyon Morning – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Morning Light In Echo Canyon – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Tree On The Rocky Ledge – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Western Cliff – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Rock Bowl – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Echo Mesa – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Witches – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Trees Dotting The Rock – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Blue Sky Rocks – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Weber River Thistle Blooms – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Yucca Blossoms – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Sky Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Sycamore Seeds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Green Cottonwood Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Cottonwood Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Vintage Sunset – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Blue Hole – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Clouds Behind The Green Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Summer Blue & Green – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Big Cloud Behind The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Grey Sky Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Car Wash – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Burger Umbrellas – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Renew or Replace – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Red Curve – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Red Corner – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Moore Motor – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Better Days Behind – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Building For Sale – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Brick Angles – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Suburban Garage – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Gas – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Gas Cafe – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Neighborhood Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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The Joy of Driving Rain – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Man of Steel – Coalville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30  – Kodacolor

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Bicycle Back Tire – South Weber, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Chaos Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Hat On A Bed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Couch Pillows – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Wall Curtain – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Intelligence Game – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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The Trouble With Age – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Ketchup – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Orange – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Playing With Fire – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Mastrena – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Be The Light – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Adidas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Balloon Maker – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Standing In The Water Balloon Pool – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Water Balloon Fight – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Recording Summer Fun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Wearing Grandpa’s Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Johanna – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Echo Canyon Morning Freight – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Freight Train At Echo – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

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Eastbound Freight Through Echo Canyon – Echo, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Kodacolor

30 comments

  1. chan.kit.sg · 30 Days Ago

    Wonderful- thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fragglerocking · 30 Days Ago

    Ooh love the results, going to have a go with this one on my XT2!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mauricio · 30 Days Ago

    This one is awesome! Got my fridge full of Kodacolor 200 and this recipe sure looks a lot like it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Luís Costa · 30 Days Ago

    Another great one Ritchie, looks stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Khürt Williams · 29 Days Ago

    I like this recipe, Ritchie. I think this has the right “feeling” to it, especially in the street images.

    I’ll try this with my X-T2 to see how well it works.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Comparing Film Simulation Recipes | Fuji X Weekly
  7. Kawin Phuangthongin · 28 Days Ago

    Hi Ritchie! Thanks for yet again coming up with such a great recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ricardo Richon Guzman · 27 Days Ago

    Hi Ritchie, was looking at this in your instagram (as you noticed) and was just comparing it to your “Vintage Kodachrome” recipe … as you may notice this Kodacolor has “almost” same WB but just softer contrast and softer colors which (for now) fits my taste even more. So will use this and come back with more comments

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Fujifilm X Kodacolor and Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipes Compared by Khürt Williams
  10. 譚世銘 Tom Tam · 26 Days Ago

    You are a genius

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kieran Williams · 25 Days Ago

    Hey there,

    Just wondering, what’s your process for creating these presets? Are you doing it via trial and error in-camera? I’d like to try my hand at creating a preset to mimic a warmer tint of Kodak Ultramax 400 (I’ve been using a VSCO preset) but the reference image will be on my desktop, so it’s a bit of a pain to adjust some settings, take a photo, transfer photo to computer, compare photo to reference, repeat ad nauseum.

    Anyways, thanks for making these, they’re great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 25 Days Ago

      It’s definitely trial and error. I used to do it JPEG only, but at some point last year I figured RAW+JPEG, and reprocessing in-camera the RAW file, was a much easier approach. For Ultramax, I was actually playing around with this, try the Kodacolor recipe, except DR200, Color 0 or +1, and WB 5900K +1 R & -5 B. I’m still refining things, but this might be in the neighborhood.

      Like

  12. Mauricio · 24 Days Ago

    Hey man, just wanna say two things

    – First I wanna recommend you Fuji X RAW Studio, you can connect your camera via USB and use it’s cpu to process the RAWs on your computer, the greatest plus that this method has for me is that you can store as much simulations profiles as you like, it’s also a lot faster to work with than doing so directly on camera

    – I’ve been loving this recipe! I played a bit with the settings Im not sure if staying in 6300K or dropping to 5900K, but it’s definetly reallyreally close! Underexposing the shot to from -1/3 to -1EV also gets you that Kodacolor 200 tones, I’ve even been able to fool some friends who shoot mainly analog using photos with this recipe, it’s that great

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 24 Days Ago

      Thanks for the input! I’m glad that you like these settings. I will have to try underexposing using this recipe.
      I have used X RAW Studio, but I very rarely use a computer for photography. I download from the camera to my phone and send them from my phone to storage. So using X RAW Studio goes outside of my typical workflow, but I am familiar with it and have some experience using it. I appreciate the tip, though.
      Take care!

      Like

  13. Pingback: Weekly Photo Project, Week 49 | Fuji X Weekly
  14. Nikita Tretyakov · 18 Days Ago

    This is an absolutely brilliant recipe! Can’t even imagine how much time and work it took to reproduce the Kodacolor (and other films). Great work, thank you very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Film Simulation Challenge – Roll 2: Kodacolor | Fuji X Weekly
  16. tim matson · 7 Days Ago

    love the faded look… going to try it…. ! so retro!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 7 Days Ago

      Thanks! Let me know what you think after you’ve had a chance to use it.

      Like

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